| up a level
from the gnostic-mass-communication dept.
In a way, esoteric schools have always been about media. In ancient Egypt, the priestly class was the literate class, preserving the sacred knowledge through the sacred practice of writing, generation after generation. The founding documents of the Rosicrucian movement (the Fama, the Confessio, and to a lesser extent the Chemical Wedding) could be considered to be a series of press releases. Theosophy, the Fourth Way, and AMORC were built to a large extent through publicity in the media. Certainly, Crowley attempted to work the media, with varying degrees of success. In more modern times, Scientology, Transcendental Meditation, Arica and est blazed new trails in esoteric media outreach. Nowadays, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Thich Nat Hahn, and the Dalai Lama are at the top of the metaphysical best-seller lists in bookstores everywhere.
Some traditions have had more successful relationships to the media than others. Perhaps the group with the worst media record I can think of would be the Process, who succeeded in drawing massive attention to themselves, only to make an impression of such villainy that their demise was assured. At the other end of the spectrum would have to be the Tibetan Buddhists, who have enjoyed a prolonged honeymoon with the media that shows no sign of abating.
Does Thelema itself imply a particular approach or set of goals regarding the media? How should we regard the media? What would the ideal relationship between Thelema and the media look like?
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